In just 12 months, Rory McIlroy’s career has done a complete 180.
This time last year, he was world No.1, had just won his second major, was about to win the money lists on both sides of the Atlantic in the same season, was playing Titleist clubs, was managed by Horizon and was dating tennis star Caroline Wozniacki,
This year? Different story. He still has his two majors – nobody can take those away from him – but the Titleists have been traded in for Nikes. He’s currently sixth on the world rankings, 60th on the Race To Dubai, and finished 41st on the PGA Tour money list. According to reports, he and Wozniacki are through, and he has also parted company with Horizon.
Of all these, the latter has the potential to affect his 2014 season – and many others thereafter – the most.
Last week, Rory McIlroy and his former management went to court in Ireland, each suing the other: Rory to reclaim money paid to the company, Horizon for breach of contract.
The exact details of the acrimonious split are rather sketchy and so it is hard to apportion blame. But neither side has shown any intention of backing down, with a trial date provisionally set for October 2014.
You can’t help but think Rory McIlroy needs to settle this one of out court, chalk it up to experience and move on.
That means Rory will play a full PGA Tour season, all four major championships, and barring a massive surprise, the Ryder Cup with a messy court case hanging over him.
Now, there’s never a good time to go toe-to-toe with somebody in front of a judge but, after the year he’s had, and bearing in mind he’s still only 24 years of age, you can’t help but think Rory McIlroy needs to settle this one of out court, chalk it up to experience and move on.
If he is adamant he has been wronged by Horizon, fair enough and, in his position, I’m not sure what I’d do. I know what I’d like to do and it probably wouldn’t be much different to what the young Northern Irishman is doing. At the same time, however, I’d hope I would be able to see the bigger picture. Because there is a bigger picture.
In the context of what Rory McIlroy has already earned in his career and, more to the point, what he stands to make in the years to come, €7m – the sum he is reportedly chasing from Horizon – is pocket change and a small price to pay for naively entering into an agreement with any company.
Accept your mistake and learn from it.
Compromise, find a solution, and move on. Fast.
He might not like doing it but Rory McIlroy can afford to give away €7m. What he can’t afford is another year like this one.
Rory McIlroy: Time to move on?
Do you agree with Michael McEwan that Rory McIlroy needs to settle his dispute with Horizon as soon as possible so he can get on with his career? Leave your thoughts in our 'Comments' section below.